Trump not German chancellor circa 1933

I do not think that the comparison with Germany in 1933 is helpful.

In terms of class, Trump is not a trumped up corporal but a bonafide member of the super-rich. If there is any historical comparison to be made it is with populist members of the Roman senatorial order like the Gracchi or Ceasar. In terms of nation, what we are dealing with here is not a second rank imperialist power aiming to be the top imperialist power, but the already top imperialist power. The politics of the German government in the 1930s were the outcome of an already long existing imperialist strategy going back many decades(see Fischer). The USA is the super power with  only two rivals, Russia and China both of which are  inferior to it in military power. Neither is able to threaten it. The long term strategy of the US bourgeois state has been to break up first the USSR and then Russia as its most serious military rival.
They have aimed to use Islamic radicalism and Ukrainian fascism as part of this long term strategy: Islamic radicalism being aimed at the states on the southern border and Ukrainian fascism on the western border. The aim is the breakup of Russia into a number of smaller states which can be easily dominated by the USA and by US companies.

In the context of this long term strategy of US imperialism, Clinton was the war candidate, the most aggressively anti-Russian of the two. Trump was the peace candidate with respect to Russia.

What we have is a split within the US Oligarchy between the Trump faction and the existing military intelligence apparatus. This split within the ruling class produces splits within the state apparatus, with the CIA aligning with Clinton and a significant fraction of the military and part of the FBI ( New York office in particular ) aligning with Trump.

This is a period of real instability in the ruling class, unprecedented for different sections of the intelligence community to intervene on different sides in an election.

The question is why Trump has a different strategy?

You only have to listen to his speeches to see: his section of the bourgoisie – real estate, energy see that the internal productive base of the US has been undermined by the policy of outsourcing production to China that has been followed by many manufacturing companies: hence the emphasis on restoring the infrastructure and domestic manufacturing and energy production. The energy sector also stands to gain from good relations with Russia in being able to get concessions on oil extraction there.

The large number of Generals backing him, reflects I think the realisation that whilst the US armed forces have the power to easily subdue minor powers, an actual invasion of Russia would be very foolhardy and that was where the policy of the Democrats was leading.

The instability of the ruling class should, in principle, open up opportunities for the left in the US, but they are so split and alienated from the mass of the working classes there that they have little chance.  Indeed the Republicans are making a convincing move to gain working class support:

(WASHINGTON) – The following is a statement from Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa on President Donald Trump signing an executive order to formally withdraw the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership. 
“Today, President Trump made good on his campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. With this decision, the president has taken the first step toward fixing 30 years of bad trade policies that have cost working Americans millions of good-paying jobs.
“The Teamsters Union has been on the frontline of the fight to stop destructive trade deals like the TPP, China PNTR, CAFTA and NAFTA for decades. Millions of working men and women saw their jobs leave the country as free trade policies undermined our manufacturing industry. We hope that President Trump’s meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Jan. 31 opens a real dialogue about fixing the flawed NAFTA.
“We take this development as a positive sign that President Trump will continue to fulfill his campaign promises in regard to trade policy reform and instruct the USTR to negotiate future agreements that protect American workers and industry.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
You have to take into account that the left/right positioning of these bourgeois parties is contingent on historical circumstances. For a long time the Republicans were the Left and the Democrats the Right – hence the confusing use of red and blue in the US which is the opposite of Europe. In the 19th century the Republicans were the reds aligned with the commune in France and the war against the confederacy. It is quite possible that we are seeing another reversal of the positions of the parties as occurred in the 30s with Roosevelt II, it is only since him that the democrats took up the position of favouring the working class interest. Remember that under Roosevelt I the Republicans were the progressive party.

 

Advertisements

6 Responses to “Trump not German chancellor circa 1933”

  1. Alex Says:

    This is a really informative analysis. I am struck by how illuminating is this simple “vulgar Marxist” division of the ruling class, and their strategies, according to the interests of the relevant sections of capital. Compared to the acres of newsprint.

  2. bruciebaby Says:

    Spot on although the reference to using fascists in the Ukraine is a bit imprecise. There are fascists on both sides and the Kiev regime itself isn’t fascist at all.

  3. Davide Ferri Says:

    An eye-opening analysis. Thank you for your usual meaningful contributions to political theory, Paul.

    D.

  4. Curtis C. Says:

    Reblogged this on Dynamic Figment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: